Thursday, March 21, 2013

US Armored Field Artillery Battery

I recently finished another unit for my US Tank Company for Flames of War.  Funny how things pan out.  I had no plans to build this army this year and now I am nearly done.

This is an Armored Field Artillery Battery with one section of M7 Preist HMC.

 I upgraded the command and the FO to the M2 half-tracks.

Eventually, I will purchase the new box set to add the second section.  The new box actually has new M7 models which is nice.  It also includes the FO in a Sherman, yeah!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

El Guettar Turns 5 and 6

Even with their win in game 4 the Germans were unable to stop the Americans from capturing Thelepte.  If they are to have any hope of stopping the Americans the Germans need to string together some big wins.

In game 5 the Germans would return with the Panzer Grenadiers, this time with no armor support.  They did have two full grenadier platoons with lots of half-tracks. They also had lots of AT support and air support.  The American would defend with a large infantry company with tanks, TDs and air in support.  The scenario was Pincer.

The Americans deployed one infantry platoon covering a small village on the center of table and covering the near objective.  Covering the far objective, behind the village, was a battery of 105s.  The Shermans were held in ambush.  The Germans deployed a pz grenadier platoon on either flank with the HMG platoon combat attached to each.  The 88s covered the center of the battlefield and the pak38 were on the German right.

The Germans pressed their attack on the left flank.  This triggered the Sherman ambush but they only managed to knockout one half-track.  The 88s then killed a couple of Shermans.  The remaining Sherman passed morale and stayed in the fight.  The German attack on the left slowly ran out of steam as the grenadiers made it into the village.  At this point the Germans shifted their attack to their right flank and pressed hard on the near objective.

Several turns without reinforcements spelled doom for the Americans.  When they did arrive they were fed piecemeal into the battle and destroyed.  Poor choices on what units to bring on made matters worse.  In the end the Germans win 6-1.  Things are now starting to look grim for the Americans

For game six the Americans needed to regain the initiative.  I brought a Tank Company hoping to see lots of half-tracks on the other side.  Tim was too sly for that and brought a Panzer Company.  The battle would be Hasty Attack with the Germans defending.  The Americans needed at least a 5-2 victory to keep the timetable in tact.

The Germans would start the battle with two panzer platoons on the table along with the CO.  The American would start with a battery of T19, the M10 security section and the company command sections.  Seeing the weakness of the initial American deployment the Germans decided to go on the attack in the center.  With only the CO and the 2iC covering the US objective this looked like a sound move.  The only hope for the Americans was to get to shooting fast.  The TD section moved up quickly on a village on the US right and deployed.  The quickly knocked out the Panzer CO and one tank from the German's center platoon.  Some goos shooting from the T19 would also score a kill on the center platoon.

The Germans would not be chased off so easily and continued their attack.  They moved into point blank range on the US command tanks but failed to effect.  Timely arrival of the first of the US reinforcements would save the center for the American with the panzer platoon being wiped out.  On the US right the battle continued with the M10s being destroyed but not before getting a couple more panzers.

This battle would again come down to reinforcements.  This time it was the Germans that had trouble getting them on while the US managed to get everything on the table.  The battle would end with the German company breaking.  American win 5-2!

So far the American offensive is on schedule but the cost has been very high.  Her is the scoring so far:

Victory Points
US - 24
Germans - 18

US - 102
Germans - 60

Vehicles lost
US - 36
Germans - 25

Guns lost
US - 2
Germans - 6

With the half way point in the campaign reached it is time for a little break.  Home improvement projects and a case of the flu is cutting into game time.  It might also be time to switch games for a little bit.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

El Guettar Turns 3 and 4

After two solid defeats and the loss of Kasserine, the Germans decided that it was time to rest the initiative from the Americans.  The Germans gathered a Panzer company and attacked the advancing Americans near the town of Thelelpte.  The American infantry was caught off guard and attempted a fighting withdrawal.  The Americans had a large infantry company with lots of support from tanks, artillery and tank destroyers.  The Germans had tanks.

This battle never really got going for the Germans.  They advanced towards the defending Americans but struggled to dig out the defenders.  The American artillery, tanks and tank destroyers methodically shot the Germans to bits.  The lack of support on the Germans side doom the attack to failure.  US wins 5-2 and the momentum stays with the Americans.

The fourth battle saw the Germans continuing their aggressive ways.  A Panzer Grenadier company, mounted in half-tracks, managed to surround an American rifle company.  The Americans had an excellent defensive position in a small village.  The Germans had what seemed to be a small attacking force consisting of a couple of Grenadier platoons supported by 88s, Pak 38s and PZIIIs.  The Germans also had strong air support.

The Germans focused the major part of their force against the American left flank with only a single platoon of Grenadiers attacking the right.  The right was clearly a diversionary attack that seemed doom to fail.  That single German platoon was facing a large, well dug in, American infantry platoon supported by M10s.  The Germans half-tracks zoomed across the open ground towards the American lines, surviving everything the Americans threw at them.  They then dismounted to launch an assault against the American infantry.  This assault was repulsed and a brutal short range firefight ensued.  This fight on the right would last for several turns and would draw in another American infantry platoon and a US light tank platoon before the Germans were destroyed.

The success of the German attack on the right took both commanders by surprise.  The Germans were slow in exploiting the success of the diversion and the Americans were slow in shifting forces from the right flank to the left.  The Germans, however, recovered quicker and pressed on the objective.  Over the next several turns the Germans would lose the PZIII platoon but the Americans would lose much more.  In the end the American company was broken and fled the field.  This was the first German victory in the campaign, 4-3, and the bloodiest battle so far.  Even with the German victory the Americans scored enough VP to capture Thelepte but momentum was shifting.

Current scores:

Victory Points

US - 18
Germans - 10


US - 60
Germans - 43

Vehicles lost

US - 26
Germans - 16

Guns lost

US - 1
Germans - 6